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Good Lucha Things (8/2/17): The Whole Foxin' Show

It's Monday, so you know what that means—it's time for another edition of Good Lucha Things!


Cueto Cup Update: Animal Crossing Edition

Let's start with this week's highlight—Dante Fox vs. Prince Puma in the Cueto Cup quarterfinals.



Oh, wow. This was amazing. This was the best Cueto Cup match to date, and is the reason why you should be watching Lucha Underground this week. This was a non-stop, balls to the wall affair with each guy trying to one-up the other on how insane their flips and moves could get. These two have such great chemistry and it showed. Fox was in firm control for the first part, before Puma fought back with his trademark moves. In our midyear report, I mentioned how Dante Fox should be the guy we should watch out for—this match shows why. He’s been an absolute joy to watch, and I hope he continues to wow people despite his exit from the Cueto Cup.



Fortunately, it looks like we won’t be seeing less of Fox. Killshot came out and laid out the One Man Army after the match, reigniting the feud between former brother-in-arms. It’s the Lucha Underground version of “I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU!”, which I believe was needed since their last match didn’t really have the feel of a big payoff match. The surprise here, though, was how the crowd reacted to Killshot. His post-match attack actually garnered some boos from the believers, which just goes to show you how much Dante Fox has won over the fans. He doesn’t go out of his way to appease them, but people love him now because he manages to kill it in the ring every match. I’m curious to see if this continues to play out in this feud, but it’s definitely made me want to tune in for more.


Fenix also progressed to the semifinals by beating Pindar, which I’ll mention because this was actually a decent showing for Pindar! I’ve been hard on him for having a lackluster Cueto Cup run so far, but he did well here. It’s a fine, solid match that told the tale of power vs. speed, and Pindar more than held his own against Fenix. Nevertheless, the better luchador won, and Fenix rightfully moves on. The lack of a Marty “The Moth” Martinez run-in surprised me, but it does help build the Moth up as a guy who picks his spots to strike, and helps build anticipation for the next time he messes Fenix up.


Now Shit's Personal

This week’s main event was a nice reverse of last week’s, with Lucha Underground Champion Johnny Mundo taking on Rey Mysterio’s protégé, El Dragon Azteca Jr.

This was a decent main event with both men playing their roles very well. Mundo and Azteca are among the better luchadors in the Temple, and both men put on a fine showing here. I’ve mentioned before how Mundo is the sort of guy that can win clean, but would just rather take the easy route and cheat—having him pick up the clean win here was a good move. It plays into the fact that Mundo takes Mysterio’s challenge as a legitimate threat, which was established when we first found out about the match. They gave the Worldwide Underground a good reason to not interfere (more on this later), which makes for some perfect timing. I’m still not a fan of Azteca continuing to look like the afterthought in this storyline, but this match was a nice way to build up the upcoming title match.



The post-match shenanigans were also done well, giving Mysterio a legitimate reason to go after the Worldwide Underground now aside from his status as a title contender. We got the surprise Lucha Underground debut of one Dominick Mysterio, which is a name I’m sure all of you are familiar with. Having Mundo nail him with the belt was a nice way to up the stakes for Mysterio, because now this shit is personal. I don’t know if this is going to lead to a scenario where Dominick actually steps into the ring, but I expect him to get involved again in the future. Maybe he hits Mundo with a chair and then plays dead—something his father (heh) would be proud of.



Quick Hits:

  • The Aztec Medallions return next week! Dario’s favorite pieces of gold get handed out once more, and the Worldwide Underground (Taya, PJ Black and Ricky Mandel) have a unique opportunity to pick them up next week. It’s the Lucha Underground version of the Dragon Balls, and this was a nice way to ensure that Mundo’s cronies didn’t get involved in the main event. Four for you, Dario. Four for you. This also means that we’ll get a new Gift of the Gods Champion again, because that’s where these medallions lead to.
  • It’s nice to know that Matanza is still around. I’m fine with the brief hiatus on all Monster-related things since he was in the spotlight for so long, though I wouldn’t mind having him back soon. This was actually the first time we’ve seen him since the back half of season three began. Looks like he’s still, uh, grounded.
  • Do the Boyle Heights Police Department really want to go after Cage? I’m not sure if that’s a good idea, because Cortez Castro/Officer Reyes doesn’t seem capable of subduing the Machine. I’m interested to see how they even try to attempt this.
  • Are we getting a luchas de apuestas match between Fenix and the Moth? It sure looks like it after Martinez hinted at taking away Fenix’s mask, and I’d love to see this happen in Lucha Underground. Putting your pride on the line is an integral element of lucha libre, and this should be a great match. It’ll also likely be Mask vs. Hair, since the Moth doesn’t really have a mask of his own. Or hey, maybe he can bet Mariposa’s mask. They’re close siblings, after all.


This week’s episode of Lucha Underground was just rock-solid. We had a good opener and main event, and an amazing match between Dante Fox and Prince Puma in between. That was the best match of the tournament so far, and should be a sign of just how crazy things will get as the Cueto Cup winds down. We also got a ton of stories moving forward this year, and we’re slowly building up to the big conclusion at Ultima Lucha Tres. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these feuds headline the finale. This show gets an A-.

Cover photo taken from 411mania.


*****

Anthony Cuello is an HR professional and training designer. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring beha
vior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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